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FREE WILL FROM THE GROUND UP
Posted: 03 January 2015 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 256 ]
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GdB - 03 January 2015 08:54 AM
StephenLawrence - 01 January 2015 01:16 PM

Just came across this.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/the-dark-side-of-free-will/

Stephen, I think everybody has his/hers associations with free will, positive and negative. Take the following overview:

Free Will                     No Free Will
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   
Positive
Responsibility                Ease of living
Morality                      No harsh accusations
Love                    
Open future
                   Negative
Punishment                    No reason to take responsibility
Existential fear              No praise
Guilt                         Risk of fatalism
------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

I do not aim for completeness. The idea is: both believe in free will and no free will have positive and negative associations. Jerry Coyne (and Sam Harris) is just very one-sided. It is obvious that Sam Harris introduces exactly the ideas of compatibilists in order to keep the positive aspects of believing in free will. He just refuse to call it so. I don’t know what Jerry Coyne’s stand is here, but I think he also will not give up on the idea of responsibility, free choice, etc. I am pretty sure if he fills in how he looks at such aspects of life, he will also end up with something that compatibilists are defending all the time, but just refuses to call it free will (CFW).

Well, as we know those who highlight that belief in LFW is harmful usually do believe in CFW. It’s usually just a matter of semantics and emphasis.

I think we need people attacking LFW as well as affirming CFW. Anyhow little of it seems to work, people just seem to get utterly confused about the subject, what ever you do, sadly.

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Posted: 03 January 2015 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 257 ]
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StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 03 January 2015 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 258 ]
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TimB - 02 January 2015 06:52 AM
LoisL - 01 January 2015 07:41 PM

... actions, behaviors and decisions are governed by unconscious determining influences that are not changed by conscious thought or analysis.

Lois, it is a severe error to rule out an entire class of factors that can and often do impact behavior. i.e., all conscious thoughts.

Show me some evidence that conscious thoughts can overrule determining influences. Then we can debate it.

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 03 January 2015 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 259 ]
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TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

your claim that we have the ability to overrule detemining influences is more nonsensical.  Please offer some objective evidence that it’s possible. So far, all you’ve offered are empty claims that are on the same level as god claims—completely devoid of objective evidence and based on wishful thinking and fantasy.

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 04 January 2015 03:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 260 ]
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LoisL - 03 January 2015 02:14 PM
TimB - 02 January 2015 06:52 AM
LoisL - 01 January 2015 07:41 PM

... actions, behaviors and decisions are governed by unconscious determining influences that are not changed by conscious thought or analysis.

Lois, it is a severe error to rule out an entire class of factors that can and often do impact behavior. i.e., all conscious thoughts.

Show me some evidence that conscious thoughts can overrule determining influences. Then we can debate it.

LoisL - 03 January 2015 02:17 PM
TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

your claim that we have the ability to overrule detemining influences is more nonsensical.  Please offer some objective evidence that it’s possible. So far, all you’ve offered are empty claims that are on the same level as god claims—completely devoid of objective evidence and based on wishful thinking and fantasy.

In both postings you do not react on what is said. Both Stephen and Tim say that what you think and feel does matter: they belong to the reasons why you do what you do, e.g. write a reaction here in the forum. That does not imply that these thoughts and feelings are not completely determined themselves: so there is no way that something ‘overrules determining influences’. You are really making a very severe logical error here.

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GdB

The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

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Posted: 04 January 2015 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 261 ]
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TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

Most likely, but I had no control over how or whether they affect my decisions or actions. 

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 04 January 2015 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 262 ]
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GdB - 04 January 2015 03:21 AM
LoisL - 03 January 2015 02:14 PM
TimB - 02 January 2015 06:52 AM
LoisL - 01 January 2015 07:41 PM

... actions, behaviors and decisions are governed by unconscious determining influences that are not changed by conscious thought or analysis.

Lois, it is a severe error to rule out an entire class of factors that can and often do impact behavior. i.e., all conscious thoughts.

Show me some evidence that conscious thoughts can overrule determining influences. Then we can debate it.

LoisL - 03 January 2015 02:17 PM
TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

your claim that we have the ability to overrule detemining influences is more nonsensical.  Please offer some objective evidence that it’s possible. So far, all you’ve offered are empty claims that are on the same level as god claims—completely devoid of objective evidence and based on wishful thinking and fantasy.

In both postings you do not react on what is said. Both Stephen and Tim say that what you think and feel does matter: they belong to the reasons why you do what you do, e.g. write a reaction here in the forum. That does not imply that these thoughts and feelings are not completely determined themselves: so there is no way that something ‘overrules determining influences’. You are really making a very severe logical error here.

And you are not?

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 04 January 2015 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 263 ]
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LoisL - 04 January 2015 10:06 AM

And you are not?

Well, if I do, show us where the error lies in my reaction.

Don’t you see that ‘your beliefs are part of the controlling factors’ and ‘you cannot overrule your determining factors’ is not the same? You deny the second, and I think TimB and Stephen agree with me that this is correct. But denying that does not mean to deny that ‘your beliefs are part of the controlling factors’. Show us how that would be the same.

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GdB

The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

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Posted: 05 January 2015 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 264 ]
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LoisL - 04 January 2015 10:05 AM
TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

Most likely, but I had no control over how or whether they affect my decisions or actions. 

Lois

So in this post have we all got agreement? Looks like it to me.

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Posted: 05 January 2015 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 265 ]
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StephenLawrence - 05 January 2015 03:29 AM
LoisL - 04 January 2015 10:05 AM
TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

Most likely, but I had no control over how or whether they affect my decisions or actions. 

Lois

So in this post have we all got agreement? Looks like it to me.

Agreement? That’s going way overboard!

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 05 January 2015 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 266 ]
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GdB - 04 January 2015 10:33 AM
LoisL - 04 January 2015 10:06 AM

And you are not?

Well, if I do, show us where the error lies in my reaction.

Don’t you see that ‘your beliefs are part of the controlling factors’ and ‘you cannot overrule your determining factors’ is not the same? You deny the second, and I think TimB and Stephen agree with me that this is correct. But denying that does not mean to deny that ‘your beliefs are part of the controlling factors’. Show us how that would be the same.

If ou are claiming that our beliefs are controlling factors, the burden of proving it with empirical evidence falls on you.

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 05 January 2015 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 267 ]
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LoisL - 05 January 2015 06:22 AM
GdB - 04 January 2015 10:33 AM
LoisL - 04 January 2015 10:06 AM

And you are not?

Well, if I do, show us where the error lies in my reaction.

Don’t you see that ‘your beliefs are part of the controlling factors’ and ‘you cannot overrule your determining factors’ is not the same? You deny the second, and I think TimB and Stephen agree with me that this is correct. But denying that does not mean to deny that ‘your beliefs are part of the controlling factors’. Show us how that would be the same.

If ou are claiming that our beliefs are controlling factors, the burden of proving it with empirical evidence falls on you.

Lois

But you agree they are determining factors.

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Posted: 05 January 2015 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 268 ]
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LoisL - 05 January 2015 06:18 AM
StephenLawrence - 05 January 2015 03:29 AM
LoisL - 04 January 2015 10:05 AM
TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

Most likely, but I had no control over how or whether they affect my decisions or actions. 

Lois

So in this post have we all got agreement? Looks like it to me.

Agreement? That’s going way overboard!

Lois

Why?

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Posted: 05 January 2015 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 269 ]
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LoisL - 05 January 2015 06:22 AM

If ou are claiming that our beliefs are controlling factors, the burden of proving it with empirical evidence falls on you.

Well, that is easy. I just wanted to write this self referencing sentence and I did. Proof done.

The error you make is:
You are mixing up controlling and being controlled. Of course, my writing of above sentence has a causal history, but at the same time it was in its turn part of the causal history of that sentence being written. So my writing of above sentence is determined, but it is also part of the controlling factors that let me write above sentence.

You do as if the causal history of my ‘wanting to do something’ means that my ‘wanting to do something’ is not a causal factor in doing that thing.

So there is nothing about ‘influencing my determining influences’ at all. There is just a causal history line, in which my motivations also appear: being caused by previous events, and being causes of following events.

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GdB

The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

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Posted: 05 January 2015 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 270 ]
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LoisL - 03 January 2015 02:17 PM
TimB - 03 January 2015 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 January 2015 12:04 AM
LoisL - 02 January 2015 06:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 02 January 2015 09:53 AM

Lois,

You need to re-think this one, you are jumping to conclusions. Being amongst those who don’t believe in libertarian free will, it’s easier to do. One of the numerous and tremendous benefits of disbelief in LFW.

Now according to you re-thinking wouldn’t change your behaviour, but of course you know it would, your posts would be quite different.

You can’t know that they would be, or, if so, how they would be different.

I know there is a correlation between what you think about this subject and what you write, so do you.

Whether I jump to conclusions or not has nothing to do with my disbelief in LFW.

Slow down and think Lois, because if you don’t every conversation becomes like groundhog day. You know I don’t believe in LFW, you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your belief that our conscious thoughts have no influence on our behaviour.

That is you jumping to conclusions based on experiments that show decisions are made before we become conscious of the fact.

My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink

Lois

That’s correct because I know what you mean. But what you are doing here is saying beliefs don’t have magical contra-causal power. Well we agree on that. But you switch from that to a much more controversial claim that beliefs have no influence at all, which is you going off the deep end without evidence.

Lois, your claim is nonsense.  When you typed in the words: “My beliefs or disbeliefs have no influence on my determining influences—and neither do yours. wink”, your beliefs were part of the controlling factors that lead you to do so.

your claim that we have the ability to overrule detemining influences is more nonsensical.  Please offer some objective evidence that it’s possible. So far, all you’ve offered are empty claims that are on the same level as god claims—completely devoid of objective evidence and based on wishful thinking and fantasy.

Lois

It is not very polite to accuse me of claiming that “that we have the ability to overrule determining influences” when I did no such thing.  That would also be nonsense.  My claim was to dispute your claim that all conscious thoughts are never, themselves, part of the components that determine behavior.  My claim is that conscious thoughts and beliefs are, themselves, sometimes. a factor in determining behavior.

 Signature 

As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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